Russian and Kazakh Presidents Agree to Widen Caspian Sea Cooperation

Russian and Kazakh Presidents Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbaev yesterday expressed their desire to widen bilateral cooperation to develop energy resources in the Caspian Sea. This wish is expressed in a joint statement that the two presidents signed yesterday in Omsk at a forum on cross-border cooperation. The Russian President's press office said that the document notes the need for close cooperation in transporting hydrocarbons from the two countries to world markets, in the work of the Caspian pipeline consortium, and in creating a gas alliance. The two presidents also agreed on the need to ensure free movement of goods, services, capital and labour, and harmonize economic legislation, as well as currency, tariff, tax, competition and technical policy.

Russia and Kazakhstan intend to draw up and sign an agreement on the environment of the Caspian Sea in the near future. Putin and Nazarbaev also ordered their governments to take the necessary measures to create favourable conditions in the border zone for collaboration between companies, to develop trade, to ensure people can move freely, and to develop scientific, cultural and educational exchanges.

The two heads of state also discussed cooperation in the border zone between Russia and Kazakhstan and said that it could significantly influence the effectiveness of the joint fight against drug trafficking, terrorism, international crime, illegal migration, and other threats. According to Putin, 60% of trade between Russia and Kazakhstan is based on cross-border cooperation.